Building a home presents an incredible amount of challenges. But you’ll need to answer this question before doing almost anything else: should you build a one-story or two-story house? There are many advantages and disadvantages of each. Of course, in the end, it will come down to your personal preference. What works better for your family? How long are you going to live here?
Here are a few advantages to building a single-story home.
A single-story home is an excellent return on investment when it comes to heat and air conditioning. Since heat rises and cold air falls, people with two-story homes end up paying nearly double in costs just to keep their upstairs and downstairs at a comfortable temperature.
With just one floor to heat or cool, single-story homes are more cost and energy efficient. That’s a double win.
Do you know what’s not fun? Carrying a vacuum cleaner up and down a set of stairs every week. Everything is on the same level in a single-story home, so there’s no need to run up and down floors carrying laundry or cleaning supplies. It may not seem like this would be a big deal, but all that work adds up and makes chores even more unappealing.
This is true for outside your home too. Washing your windows, cleaning your gutter, or painting is all easier when there’s only one floor to deal with.
Another point to consider is whether you’re planning to live out your later years in this home. If you plan to retire and continue living in this home for the rest of your life, a one-story home may be better. After all, stairs can be cumbersome or dangerous for people with limited mobility. That’s why most senior living communities feature single-level homes.
But this consideration isn’t just for older folks. Familiar with small children may want to avoid adding stairs too. Falling down stairs is a real danger for crawling or barely walking kids.
For either of these reasons, or if you just don’t want to run up and down stairs every day, then a single-story home is the way to go.
Nobody likes to think about the worst case scenario. But in the event of a fire or another disaster, it’s easier to get out of a one-story home. Evacuating from a ground floor window is undoubtedly better than jumping out a window higher up.
It may be unpleasant, but it’s necessary to consider this in your planning.
One of the most significant downsides of a single-story home is a lack of privacy. When your bedroom is on the ground floor, you’re potentially open to people walking down the street or cars driving by. Additionally, there’s no separation between your home’s “public” and “private” spaces. This becomes especially important during the holidays or if you’re hosting a party with guests.
If you’re designing the floor plan, you can avoid some of this exposure. But even so, a multi-story home would offer additional privacy and protection.
Consider too that building is going to be expensive. First, because your home has a larger footprint and therefore requires more land. Second, you’ll need more materials for the foundation, roof, and windows.
Are you looking for an easier layout design? More prefab options? Go for the single-story home.
There are many benefits of single-story homes, from inexpensive heating to easier maintenance. And there are certainly cons, like a lack of privacy or higher building costs. But ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different home styles will help you make a more informed decision about what type of home to build.